It’s a great time to buy real estate

The number of serious buyers is reduced right now now because they are so worried!  Here are seven common reasons buyers or seller-buyers are afraid to buy.  I have some possible answers to these concerns below:

1.)    What if prices drop even more?

2.)    What if I take a loss on my property when selling?

3.)     What if my credit isn’t very good?

4.)    What if I don’t have much of a down payment?

5.)    What if I sell before I find the house I want to buy?

6.)    Will the price of gas affect my investment?


1.)    If you’re looking for a short term investment, there may be a better time to buy.  If you intend to be in the property less than two years you may not gain any equity at all.  Fortunately, the California market is Cyclical, if you intend to stay for five years or longer – the market will have appreciated, increasing your investment.

2.)    Buyers who have to sell first may fear losing money on their sale but need to remember that most real estate markets in California and throughout the Nation have suffered the same fate.  You should get a good deal as well when you buy. A lower purchase price will also result in lower Property taxes.  When you sell first it is best to have a good down payment saved for the next property.

3.)    Because of the “bad loans” that were made where the result was too high payments on properties losing value, there have been many foreclosures and a tightening up on credit as well as closed loan offices.  You might be surprised however to find that although your credit may not be excellent, you can work with a lender to customize a loan for you.  However , now lenders and sellers may want to know your credit score.  Lenders can work with those with poor credit over a longer period of time like six months to write letters of explanations, make corrections,  and find the financiers who can do the most with lower credit scores.  It is true that one hundred percent financing and a poor credit score is going to be tough unless the seller is willing to extend some type of Seller financing.

4.)    If you have a good credit score, and even a small down payment you will probably find a good loan, and possibly some seller financing to purchase a home.

5.)    If you need to sell first, and it looks like it will close escrow you can do a couple of things: your can ask to rent back for a month while you find your house, or you can rent another house, and store your possessions.  Then you can enjoy being one of the few buyers in a sea of discounted properties.  Or you can offer your home for sale contingent on your finding a suitable replacement home, but this may discourage some of your buyers.

6.)    The price of gas while expensive is still not high compared to the cost of real estate.

7.) It should not affect the long term growth of California which is predicted to double or more in the Sacramento Region.  California is expected to see millions of Retirees in the next ten years.  The long term picture is growth!  Growth should result in appreciation of property values, as long as it is controlled growth without excessive speculation building.

To sum up, this market is a real opportunity for buyers!  Prospective buyers should not expect the market to remain this way for long.  The upcoming government led drop in interest rate (we’re hoping) will be temporary.

The inventory of foreclosures will be bought up.  Most sellers are motivated but not desperate and could pull the properties off the market rather than wait for a low offer.  Buyers should not expect to buy a property for half price!  In many cases the listed price is already twenty percent or more below where it would have been listed two years ago.

If you have found the property you want to buy, don’t wait!!  Ask your Realtor to present an offer that you are comfortable with, excited about, and is contingent on a safe loan that is do-able for many years!

If you Eliminate the financial stress — your next home purchase will be a good long term investment.

Seniors: Choosing a new property

Article written by Joseph Robertson at First Steps Kindergarten

There comes a time in the lives of many seniors when staying in their current home is no longer the safest or wisest choice. The decision to move however is delayed-or avoided altogether –because of the myriad of emotions surrounding the transition.

For many seniors, just the thought of selling stirs up fear and anxiety about leaving their home, neighborhood, and friendships for unfamiliar territory-so much that they often convince themselves a move isn’t necessary. An example could be: A woman who’s lived in her home for more than 30 years and whose husband has passed away, leaving her with the responsibility of maintaining a home that’s aging and in need of improvements. She’s on a tight budget and doesn’t have the resources to upgrade the home, but she still clings to the comfort and familiarity of her neighborhood.

If you are a senior, here are some questions that you may want to consider:

  • Does your home provide the best environment for the physical needs you have?
  • Have you isolated yourself from friends and family because your inability to maintain your home has left it in disrepair?
  • Have you had trouble finding workers to take care of the maintenance?
  • Are finances keeping you from enjoying the home you’ve loved for so many years?
  • Do you feel like you have security or access problems living where you are?
  • Are there other areas you think you may want to be?

If Seniors can answer yes to more than one of these questions, they’re candidates for change.

Some of the options for seniors include: Senior apartment complexes catering to older adults, with residents taking care of themselves.

Retirement communities where support services and recreational and social amenities are self-contained within the complex.

Continuing care retirement communities offer three levels of living environments-independent, assisted living, and skilled nursing.

There are those that can help you decide other than your Real Estate Agent! An attorney, a clergy member, your relatives, your doctor, or a best friend are all good sources for advice. Don’t be afraid to discuss your difficulties such as physical hardships, loneliness, or access problems.

Don’t be afraid to ask us here at Timberline Realty Inc. if you need information on other areas, or any Senior housing information. While here on the Divide we have some senior services like Meals on Wheels… We can learn too from inquiring into other areas you may be interested in. We will be happy to inquire from our Real estate networks areas that may interest you with Senior services.

All I want for Christmas is a new front door

Written by Caroline Christie at Cannock Chase Horse Trekking. A pony trekking centre in the UK.

In the market we had years back, we could buy a house that needed updating, add major improvements and then put the house back on the market for re-sale.  It was usual to regain all the money used for improvements and more.  It was easy enough to put the improvements on the credit card, sell the house and pay all the credit off with the sale.  Now however that ability to “make money with improvements”  is in doubt.  It is more of a buy it because you want it type of idea. Maybe even you like it, and you’ll be staying awhile?

There are most likely exceptions to this idea, such as dirty carpeting and walls, leaks, rotten wood, materials, holes, debris, garbage, etc.  These repair items should be taken care of no matter what.

So, what about  the things you really want – almost need- to update for your own sanity?  Like for instance a front door, or bathtub, or kitchen fixtures, floor coverings etc.  These type of improvements will of course pay off in the long run but should be kept in that “ You can sell it to someone else” frame of mind.  These should be things that you can afford to do without running up your credit.   Like a present to yourself.  When you can pay for your bills, and have some reserves, and still have a nice chunk of cash leftover….then you can shop (around) for that new front door, new flooring, appliances of more!

We are no longer in that market of keeping up with the neighbors new home for sale.  Generally the better deal and more affordable the home is that is in good condition, is the quickest one to sell right now.